The Peugeot 308CC is a product from the masters of the coupe cabriolet, but is it their best effort yet?
What is it?
It’s the Peugeot 308 CC, fresh from its midlife upgrade and resplendent with a new 508-style front end, LED daytime running lights and, in the case of the top-level GT trim car driven here, the 1.6-litre, 197bhp THP 200 engine we’ve previously warmed to in the firm’s likeable RCZ coupé.
What’s it like?
Put aside for one moment the usual list of folding hard-top compromises (tiny boot, scuttle shake and reduced rear passenger space all present and correct), and what we have here is a smart and surprisingly entertaining sub-premium coupé cabriolet. That said, don’t expect too much in the way of dynamic ability. While the CC feels reasonably well composed in both its ride and handling, with nicely damped suspension keeping the limitations of the roofless chassis in check, it’s what happens when you press down with your right foot that raises a smile. A 0-62mph time of 8.3sec and a 149mph top speed are both on tap if needed, but the rest of time you can sit back and enjoy a smooth, responsive delivery with plenty of poke for overtakes and rapid motorway cruising.
In GT trim the 308 CC comes impressively well-specced with an all-leather interior and comfortable, supportive seats fitted with effective neck-warming air vents, dubbed Airwave Scarf. With the roof up the cabin is cosy and devoid of squeaks and rattles; with it down there’s a touch of buffeting between the front seats at motorway speeds, but it’s otherwise a pleasant and relaxed environment, plus you get the added benefit of being able to hear a quite pleasing rasp from the exhaust.
Should I buy one?
If you’re in the market for a folding hard-top then quite possibly, yes, if only for the really quite entertaining performance on offer from the THP 200 motor. The addition of an extra 40bhp or so over the next model down in the line-up really does give the 308 CC fresh appeal.
However, there is one stumbling block, and that’s price. In this spec Peugeot’s coupé cabriolet doesn’t come cheap, and for this kind of money a more premium, if slower, roofless offering from Audi or BMW could well beckon.
Peugeot 308 CC GT THP200
Price: £25,845; Price as tested: £25,845; 0-62mph: 8.3sec; Top speed: 149mph; Kerb weight: 1535kg; Economy: 40.3mpg (combined); CO2: 162g/km; Engine: 4 cyls in line, 1598cc, petrol; Max power: 197bhp at 5500 to 6800rpm; Max torque: 203lb ft at 1700rpm